Woodland stays in control, McIlroy three back
- Rory McIlroy is still in contention as Gary Woodland retained control of the Tournament of Champions.
Gary Woodland will hold the top spot on the leaderboard heading into the final round of the Tournament of Champions as Rory McIlroy stayed in touch.
Woodland, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, shot a five-under 68 on Saturday to move to 17 under for the tournament at the Kapalua Plantation Course on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
He opened the third round mistake-free and carded three birdies before the turn. The only blemish on Woodland's scorecard came on the par-four 12th hole where he finished with a bogey.
However, he made up for it on the par-five 15th with an eagle for the outright lead.
McIlroy shot a five-under 68 to match his second-round score and move to 14 under for the tournament. The back-to-back 68s put him in sole position of second, three shots behind Woodland.
A 14-time champion on the PGA Tour, including winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2018 to earn a ticket to this exclusive event, McIlroy has played 30 consecutive holes without a bogey. In Saturday's round, he carded five birdies – four on the front nine – to hold off a climbing Marc Leishman and Xander Schauffele.
Leishman jumped two spots up the leaderboard after shooting a five-under 68. His round was highlighted by six birdies, four of which were on the back nine, and just one bogey to sit in outright third at 13 under.
Schauffele also carded a 68 to move into a two-way tie for fourth place with Bryson DeChambeau (70).
Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm also moved up the leaderboard and sit in the top 10 after rounds of four-under 69.
The duo finished first and second at last year's tournament – Johnson won after going 24 under for the week and Rahm followed (16 under) – and will look to get into contention once again.
Jason Day plummeted down the leaderboard after shooting a two-over 75. Francesco Molinari and Brooks Koepka also dropped after each carded even-par 73s.
Cameron Champ and Ian Poulter also lost their spots inside the top 10 after rounds of one-over 74 and even par respectively. The two are tied for 13th place with Charles Howell III and Troy Merritt.Published 06 Jan 2019, 07:48 IST